Earlier updates: 6-2015  4- 2015   2014  2013  2012  2011 2010  2009

  Please click on dates to see earlier progress pix.  

6/29/2015 - The National Narrow Gage Convention website has recent pictures which will not be posted here.


June 2015

Since the last update, a bit of the new scenery is noticeable. 

Except for Seacouver, the track and wiring are working.  The bridge at Skagit has been reinstalled and limited running has resumed.  With the National Gage Convention coming in September, and the layout running well, scenery work will continue.



The freshly painted backdrop at Skagit Junction

The International passes Granville Cut

The Blaine fascia still needs an upgrade


Ol' #8 is working the yard for the ferry slip

A local freight approaches Blaine

The International departs Blaine

The Seaboard departs Bellingham

The Seaboard leaves Mt Vernon

A slow day in Blaine


Right, The Skagit bridge is back in service. The bridge is an Atlas product and was 1/16" out of gage, requiring the entire deck to be replaced with hand layed track.


April 2015

About two years ago, I committed to being open for the Houston Narrow Gage Convention.  With the National Gage Convention coming in September, there has been a lot of scenery work being done.

Except for Seacouver, the track and wiring are working.  Since the bridge at Skagit has been removed for scenery and backdrop painting, no running has occured in several months.  That should change in the next two weeks.


O-8 # 3391 is heading for Bellingham with a manifest frieght in tow.

The Mt. Vernon Saw Mill still needs additional scenery.

A-9 # 8 waits in the yardwaiting for the overdue barge.

Dairy cattle near the mainline.  Some better erect a fence before those cows foul the mainline.


June 2014

The work was done on the layout consisted of building the trackage at the port area of Bellingham and the town of Blaine. The trackage at all three towns received ballast.

Of course most of the layout work consisted of wiring, mounting control panels on the fascia, and connecting Tortoise switch machines.

I also have been detailing, painting and decoder wiring five engines. That project always takes longer than planned.



A short freight passes Skagit Junction

Freshly painted 4-8-0 number 748 switches Bellingham

The trackage is now at the town of Blaine

Number 3398 passes Skagit. This engine was one of the three original 1932 built

O-8s and was equipped with a closed cab and 48' tender for most of its service life.


Number 8 at Bellingham Loco 103 at arrives at Blaine
O-8 #3398 at Mt Vernon S-1 #2550 at Skagit Junction
Twelve wheeler 748 switches the barge yard Q-1 # 2125 meets B-13 #103 at Blaine
4-4-0 #103 crosses the Skagit River The barge yard is getting crowded
Ten wheeler 927 waits at Blaine O-1 # 3144 switches Blaine



Twelve wheeler # 748 switches at Bellingham

The tunnels in the distance still need mountains

O-8 #3398, now with it's 48' correct tender departs Bellingham Hap Hazzard Fruit packer at Blaine. This copy of Frank Ellison's structure, was built by my good friend Charlie Morrill.

More work is still need at Blaine

O-1 # 3144 passes Blaine with  a peddler freight.


January   2013

Since Labor day attention has been paid to wiring - not my favorite pursuit.  Most of the work does not show in the photographs. What does show are the new master panel for DCC/DC, panels at each town and the staging yard, new LED lights is new sidings at Blaine, Bellingham and the ferry yard. At both towns, the ties and 'ballast' (dirt) in and are ready for turnouts and rails.


At Bellingham, the ties and ground cover has been added.  Rails will come next.

From the other end.  The three tracks on the right are for the ferry slip, which will start where the ties end.  The track on left will be for two industries, theoretically out in the aisles.

The double slip is in and ready for rail on either side.

The actual track looks better than this pix.

Scenery is beginning at this end. The lower track is Bellingham, and the upper Everett.

Two mini panels Everett on the left and Bellingham right

The panel that controls the junction. The two parallel tracks are miles apart in the schematic. The cross over is just for open house running or breaking in engines.

Skagit Junction is just before the Bridge. I guess I should have straightened the tower roof before snapping the pix. 

This is Blaine. The main and siding are in and running. New spurs like at Bellingham just have the ties in.  Rails and Ballast are next.

The north end of Blaine.

The main controls are at Blaine.

This is the control panel for the hidden storage yard under Blaine. It does not look like much, but many hours went into stringing the photocells for the detector lights.

This track will be both an industry and the programming track.

To The left is the Easy DCC panel. Many of the locomotives are not yet converted to DCC. To the right is the master switch for DCC or DC.

In addition to the Circuitron Rolling stock detectors, there are four CCTV cameras Monitoring the staging yard.

   LED lighting has been added to the staging to assist viewing by the CCTV. This is the South end.  Needless it was a bear mounting those lighting strips.

This is the north end. The box in the foreground is the LED power supply.


March   2012


New Trackage has been added to the south side of the room above the staging yard. Above is the track plan locating it. To the right is a view of the upper line over the staging yard. The card board strips locate the wye entering the terminal and the lift up section over the stairs.


The bare plywood will be the lift up section. The staging yard on the lower level is more visable here.

The upper line going to Blaine is seen by the backdrop. It runs beside the staging yard and not directly over it at this point.

Two eastbound extras, 2125 a 2-10-2 and 3391 a mike are in the west end of the staging which is now covered. This scene is directly below the track in the above pictures.

Blaine is on the South wall and was the last part of the main line to be constructed.  The town passing siding and switches are in but no spurs have been added yet.

Blaine spur tracks will be the next construction.  I hope to be switching here this Spring.


A longer view of the town of Blaine.

The upper track connects Blaine to the Skagit  River Bridge.  Once this was wired continous running became possible.

Northern 2575 is eastbound running at Skagit Junction and about to cross the Bridge.

Extra 2001 west, has a long string of boxcars in tow.  It is passing Blaine.

Another view of the long extra.   Ahead is the curve to the Skagit River Bridge.

The 28 car extra stretches all the way to the site of the wye to the terminal.


H-4 Pacific 1442 is on the point of the Northbound Canadian at Bellingham. Southbound the train was called the American. The lighting in the cars is barely visable in this picture.



The lighting is more visable in this picture.

I took some time off working on the layout to add interiors and lighting to three cars.  They are shown here with the two American Standard Pullmans mentioned in the May 2011 report below.  I added people to all five cars.

This Cafe - Parlor - Lounge was built from an American Standard Kit.   It has a complete interior plus lighting.

The lounge section shows better in this picture.


May 2011


New Trackage has been added to the north side of the room. In this view the upper line, to the right here is the town of Mt Vernon. The lower line,on the left is the begining of the town of Bellingham.

This is the same scene but looking in the opposite direction. Also visible is the new hole in the bathroom wall.

The reefer train, aka, Extra 1147 East is crossing over the wooden trestle south of Bellingham. The structure was built almost thirty years ago by my friend Charlie. He gave it to me when he tore up his layout because of a move.

This is the caboose of extra 1147 about to cross Charlie's trestle and enter the double deck line through the bathroom.

This is Extra 2125 East crossing the Skagit river bridge and entering what I call Skagit Juncrtion. It is on the line to Mt. Vernon and about to begin the 1.75% grade up. The other line crossing the bridge decends to the town of Bellingham also on a 1.75% grade.

The cabooses belonging to the two extras are at Skagit Junction. The two lines are actually supposed to be miles apart on the twice around the room scheme. The crossover is only for continous running during open houses and breaking in locomotives.

Extra 2125 E is on the top line of the double deck through the bath.

My friends Lee and Dave came all the way from Seattle to help me install this passage throiugh the bathroom. It was Lee's idea to use steel bar and Dave's to rivit it.

Here, the 2-10-2 is exiting the double deck through the bath. It will have to stop soon since there is only about one more foot of track.

Consolidation 1147 is on the lower line through the bath.

The reefer block has overtaken the train on the upper deck. It will continue into the staging yard. The screws driven the upper right-of-way are not ornamental. The line ends just ahead. The next construction phase will be to extend this line to Blaine and then to the Skagit bridge. (See below.)

The consolidation is entering the north end of the staging yard. The Tortoise switch machines and linkage are mounted on top because this area will be hidden and will facilitate access.

The other end of the staging finds Northerns 2550 and 2581 waiting departure. There are still a few things to finish before this area is covered.

A local departs from Mt Vernon. The cars were built from American Standard kits, have lights and full interiors and are heavy.

E-6 number 927 is on the point of the local as it crosses the Skagit river. The other line that abruptly ends at the bridge will go on to the town of Blaine. That will be the next stage of construction. The bridge abutments and scenery will have to wait until all the track is in and running smoothly.


January 2011

The South end of the staging yard. Since this track will be hidden, the Tortoises and linkage are mounted on the table top for easy access and maintenence in the future.

The crossover about to be installed at Skagit Junction. That is the work bench below.

The north end of the staging yard. The stair case is beside it. Barely visable on the left is the scaffold that provides access to the layout when flipped down.

This flat expanse is the beginning of Seacouver. The cars and track are just positioned to get the feel of how it will look. This is the beginning of a bustling terminal. -In my mind anyway!

This is the future site of Mt. Vernon. The level is for insuring there is a 1.75% grade through here.

The turntable is mounted and one end of Seacouver. Track has not been laid to it yet. Completing the engine terminal is way in the future.


September 2010

Chaos1 Chaos2

2009 What a mess!!!!!!

But soon it may look like this!!!!!!!!!!


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